Fact check: Is the coronavirus vaccine causing infertility in men?
What a time to be alive, folks. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to define our daily lives, Americans have begun to exhale a bit following the massive coronavirus vaccine rollouts across the country. However, following the 2020 presidential election, The U.S. has seldom been more divisive than today, and (surprise, surprise) the coronavirus vaccine is a hot-button issue across the country.
Anti-vaxxers have been around for some time, but with the chatter of vaccine passports and reopening protocols increasing in volume, fear-mongering is at an all-time high on both sides of the discussion.
Everyone you talk to (or see spiral on Facebook) seems to be an expert on the coronavirus vaccine, compelling you to either get the vax immediately or stay away from the needle at all costs. The latest hat thrown in the ring of coronavirus discussion is the issue of fertility in men.
Just as yesterday became today at 1:49 am May 10th, Twitter user Dr. Shannon Kroner (self-proclaimed doctor of clinical psych) posted a comically pixelated image of text warning users of the possible fertility issues in men coming along with the coronavirus vaccine.
The image seems to be screenshotted from Facebook and displays a paragraph detailing a supposed unnamed expert who’s seen increased cases of miscarriages in women & infertility in men who received the coronavirus vaccine. Kroner captioned the image with a warning to men who’ve been vaxxed to check on their sperm counts because there’s “a good chance they’re no longer swimming”.
If you’re a man and have had the Covid vaccine you should probably be checking on your sperm count about now. There’s a good chance they’re no longer swimming 😕 pic.twitter.com/0zjGtWKlVB
— Dr. Shannon Kroner (@drshannonkroner) May 10, 2021
Kroner attached a link to a government website detailing a clinical trial regarding infertility & the vaccine, to apparently prove their claim’s legitimacy. However, one look on the page will show interested parties the study won’t even reach completion until June.
Kroner’s pinned Tweet congratulating Donald Trump Jr. while simultaneously championing “#vaccinefreedom” might lead skeptics to believe the supposed doctor has a politically motivated stance. So does any reputable source have anything to say on the latest coronavirus vaccine concern?
Just over six hours after Kroner’s tweet was posted, The Hill reported on the coronavirus vaccine in regard to infertility. The publication claims the coronavirus vaccine does not impact fertility.
The Hill explains during large studies of the coronavirus vaccine, which involved giving the vaccine to some and a placebo to others, thirty-six women became pregnant. If miscarriages were as plentiful as some anti-vaxxers claim, these pregnancies would all have developed in the placebo group. However, the studies show this was not the case. So what about Kroner’s claims regarding sperm count?
Insider reported on May 5th that Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine doesn’t affect sperm count. The publication says a study out of Israel found the vaccine made no change in the sperm count of forty-three men who were tested a month after receiving the vaccine. Administrators of the test went on to discover no notable change in the men’s concentration or motility of sperm either.
The report goes on to explain some suggest contracting COVID-19 will leave men with a lowered sperm count. However, Dr. Channa Jayasena, a reproductive consultant at Imperial College London, told CNN any virus like the flu can drop sperm count in men temporarily.
We imagine the possible effect of COVID-19 contraction lowering sperm count temporarily has led to the recent vaccine claim. Regardless, the study found no connection between the coronavirus vaccine and a lowered sperm count in men.
According to most experts, there’s no reason yet to believe the coronavirus vaccine causes infertility in men or women. For now, stick to your instinct, and don’t believe everything you read on Twitter.